Mercantile Bank shares entrepreneurs’ visionary spirit. With more than 50 years’ of experience, we know what it takes to run a successful business. Our personalised service, tailored solutions, transparent pricing and skilled, experienced and flexible teams can help you grow your business.
Our core focus is on Business and Commercial Banking. We provide a wide range of international and local banking services to professionals, with a special focus on the Portuguese market. Our Alliance Banking division offers credit card, debit card and payment services to businesses in the financial service industry, while our Treasury division provides customers with a full suite of foreign exchange products.
Mercantile Bank was founded in South Africa in 1965 and is owned by CGD, the largest bank in Portugal and a global financial services group that has been in existence for more than 140 years. The Group provides niche business and commercial banking that is differentiated through great service underpinned by a deep understanding of the banking needs of the South African entrepreneur. While it operates exclusively within South Africa, Mercantile has reach into other key African markets through its parent company’s subsidiaries in Angola and Mozambique. There is an ongoing focus on capturing trade flows between these fast-growing economies.
Achievements for 2017
Rated #1 in service for Business and Commercial Banking (Consulta)
Won the IFC award for the Best Structured Finance Deal in Emerging Markets for a R240 million securitization transaction
Signed a 7-year R740 million loan agreement with the IFC for funding to grow SME lending boo
One of only two South African banks to be upgraded (and by two notches) by Moody’s in 2017
The only bank in the Middle East and Africa region to win the MasterCard Data Integrity Award three years in a row
Our customers refer their friends and family to Mercantile Bank for many reasons, but the most important being the high level of customer service we provide. We encourage our customers to tell us what they love about us as well as what they feel we may be able to do better and this they can do in many convenient ways. Check out what our satisfied customers are saying about us.
"If you’re an entrepreneur don’t believe the hype that First National Bank is the best business bank. Even their quick company registration is slower than the CIPC itself. I had a follow up two months later. Do not believe the hype that “premier banking” will give you access to a team of premier bankers – you will get inexperienced kids who have worked in banking for less than a year. Their present model is designed to frustrate you into a higher fee structure (which I have avoided for ages because I don’t care what color my card is) and you will find personal bad service that are amazing and experienced go with Mercantile Bank SA (my business bankers). Alas I am stuck with FNB until I repay my home loan – a great motivation to do it as quickly as possible."
Caixa Geral De Depósitos (CGD) is a Portuguese Government owned international banking group operating in 22 countries across 4 continents – with over 800 branches in Portugal alone. The group has been successfully in operation for over 133 years.
CGD focus areas include Commercial Banking; Investment Banking and Venture Capital; Asset Management; Specialised Credit.
It is the only Portuguese bank that participates in the EURIBOR Panel and is represented in several multilateral institutions such as the Euro Banking Association (“EBA”) and the EURO1 payment system and retains an equity stake in financial services companies such as SWIFT and EUFISERV.
CGD, which is wholly owned by the Portuguese state, is Mercantile Bank Holdings Limited’s holding company. On 22 May 2012, the Group bought out minority shareholders and delisted from the JSE, resulting in CGD owning 100% of the Company.
Click here for more information on CGD.
Our Mission - Our purpose and goal as a business:
We financially partner with you on your journey in creating a successful business
Our Vision - What we do as a business for the benefit of our clients and stakeholders:
We grow entrepreneurs through successful partnerships
Our Values - What we believe in and how we will behave:
We are Curious, We are Connected, We are Committed
We believe in the power of the individual to create and shape a successful future;
We believe in the importance of community and support;
We believe in doing things differently;
We believe in the value of lifelong relationships.
Our Belief - Why we do what we do and love doing it:
We believe entrepreneurs are visionary. Their world is multifaceted, constantly evolving and challenging.
We believe they require a dynamic level of service and understanding to help them succeed.
We believe only we can provide this.
What we did in 2017
Corporate social responsibility
One of the Group’s objectives is to make a meaningful contribution to the society in which it operates and the communities that are, in essence, its key stakeholders. The Group’s CSR Policy ensures a close link to its market positioning so that the various initiatives it supports are aligned to all its stakeholders, both external and internal. The purpose of the CSR Policy is to identify and document the themes, principles, strategy, objectives, management, performance and reporting of the Group’s CSR, to ensure that the maximum value is extracted for all stakeholders from the spend made by the Group. To this end, the following CSR objectives have been identified:
Adoption, implementation and ongoing refinement of a CSR strategy;
Compliance with the FSC and the associated outlined contributions to CSR;
Ensuring we continue to behave, and be viewed, as a good corporate citizen in the eyes of our various stakeholders;
Making a meaningful contribution to the society in which we operate and the market we serve;
Creating a targeted and focused outlet point for staff-led community outreach projects;
Optimising the value of our Group CSR spend in our core focus areas; and
Ensuring close alignment with the agreed strategy of the Group.
In the year under review, Mercantile supported a number of enterprise development and socio-economic development initiatives through financial contributions, direct and/or matched funding, as well as employee volunteerism.
Financial contributions were made to the Hope Factory. Further contributions were divided between enterprise development and socio-economic development programmes, as well as contributions to various staff and/or Bank-initiated programmes, which were measured under socio-economic development.
Employees’ time is precious – it represents a sacrifice for both the employees and the Bank. Employees often have to put considerable effort into the projects they are supporting and, for the employer, this means time away from business. Every employee is allocated a number of hours that may be “taken as leave” so that the contribution can be accurately measured.
Enterprise development and socio-economic development: The Hope Factory
As part of an existing three-year contract, Mercantile contributed R0,8 million to the Hope Factory’s enterprise development and socio-economic development programmes in 2017. The Hope Factory continued to sow seeds of hope this year, despite the environment being one of slow economic growth. Its goal and purpose are still set on seeing real economic transformation through advancing the growth of entrepreneurial black businesses. While mentorship remains the key and compulsory element of every programme, the following new initiatives were introduced to facilitate growth during the organisation’s four-year journey with entrepreneurs:
The Mentorship model has been restructured to clarify the service offering and improve entrepreneur development during the business life cycle;
A new campaign – BuildHopeSA – has been developed and has assisted the organisation to increase brand awareness and give clarity on what the brand is about;
Business development workshops have been hosted to provide insights and create awareness regarding the important functions of business;
Specialist training has been arranged to improve the competence of entrepreneurs by providing them with the opportunities to up-skill themselves in their areas of business;
Financial mentoring and services have been provided to allow entrepreneurs to achieve their strategic financial goals and objectives and make sound financial decisions for their businesses;
The first specialised Enterprise Development Programme tailored specifically for disabled entrepreneurs has been developed;
In-depth business analysis has been undertaken to develop intervention strategies that are reviewed quarterly; and
Operational investments that provide entrepreneurs with a type of grant to cover certain operational needs have been introduced. To date, over R0,8 million has been invested in qualifying businesses.
Socio-economic development: employee initiatives
During 2017, Mercantile participated in a number of CSR projects initiated by employees and/or the Bank. A cross-section of staff from different levels and business units participated and R0,7 million was allocated for this purpose.
Education is a key priority in Mercantile’s CSR programme as it is essential to creating and developing future leaders. Mercantile and its staff contributed to or participated in the following initiatives during the year under review:
‘Partners for Possibility’, where our head of IT took part in the programme to uplift Reiger Park Primary School. The organisation partners business leaders with principals from struggling schools to grow the school into a community anchor;
Lelethu Zulu Trust, which is a new trust that was formed to assist with educating the infant daughter of Gugu Zulu, who died tragically in 2016, and, in the long run, other deserving South African children;
Mampoti, an early childhood development centre based in Diepsloot;
Sparrow Schools, which cater for children from disadvantaged backgrounds with learning disabilities;
Action for the Blind, a school that provides training to the blind and disabled on computer-related courses;
Afrika Tikkun, an organisation that provides for holistic development of the youth in the areas of education, health and social services; and
Thuthuka Education Upliftment Fund (Ikusasa Student Financial Aid Programme), which is a successful multisector partnership between the private sector and various arms of government (Departments of Labour, Education, Science and Technology) aimed at ensuring disadvantaged youth with potential are able to receive the education they cannot afford.
Vulnerable and orphaned children
South Africa has an extremely high rate of abuse and abandonment of children from disadvantaged backgrounds. Organisations that help to prevent or relieve this plight are critical and need considerable assistance. To this end, Mercantile and its staff contributed to the following worthy initiatives:
Dove’s Nest, a foster home for abandoned and orphaned babies;
Azuriah Foundation, a feeding scheme and community upliftment programme based in Westbury/Newclare; and
Baby Moses Baby Sanctuary, which cares for abused, neglected, abandoned and orphaned children.
Mercantile made donations to the following organisations working in the health services sector:
Sunflower Fund, which raises funds and creates awareness for the South African Bone Marrow registry; and
Lady Fatima, which is part of the Portuguese Welfare Society, to raise funds for elderly Portuguese persons in various centres.
Entrepreneurship and community development
These are initiatives that create enterprise opportunities in communities with a high level of unemployment:
Gogos of Hope, under the umbrella of Rays of Hope, cares for grandmothers in the Alexandra township and gives them an opportunity to do beadwork to earn an extra income. One of the Sales Learnership teams, as part of their entrepreneurship module, partnered with the organisation to make bracelets that were sold to Mercantile and other companies and the profits from these sales were then donated to Gogos of Hope.
Chartered Accountant Graduate Programme
Mercantile launched the graduate programme in 2015, when the first recipient started her studies at the University of Johannesburg. The bursary includes tuition and residence fees, textbooks and a laptop computer. A second student, recruited in 2016, is studying at the University of the Witwatersrand. A third student, recruited in 2017 and being sponsored by a client, is studying at the University of Pretoria. These students complete vacation work at the Bank and/or at the client’s premises. Once they complete their degrees and postgraduate diplomas in accounting, they will start their three-year trainee accountant contracts at Deloitte and thereafter they will join Mercantile (or the client) on a two-year working contract.
The Mercantile Bank Group subscribes to a sustainable future, and to this end, aims to ensure sustainable practices across the entire scope of its business activities and the activities of all stakeholders, both external and internal. The Group’s Sustainability Policy identifies and documents the themes, principles, strategy, objectives, management, performance and reporting of sustainability, with the aim of integrating sustainability into the culture of Mercantile, and aligning our sustainability strategy with our business strategy. As a member of the Banking Association of South Africa, the Group subscribes to the Association’s Code of Conduct for Managing Environmental and Social Risk. The Group’s sustainability themes are accordingly based on the Association’s Code and recommendations set out in King III, read with the JSE Sustainability Reporting Index criteria, and taking into account the size of our business and the community and industry that the Group operates in.
The broad categories of the Group’s Sustainability policy are:
Environment – materials, energy, water, emissions, effluent and waste, products and services
Society – education, employment practices, occupational health and safety, training and development and
Governance and related sustainability concerns – good corporate practices
The Board is responsible for ensuring that the Group operates as a responsible corporate citizen, and has set strategic guidelines for meeting sustainability requirements recognised by the Group, with the aim of translating its corporate values into sustainable business practices and interaction with all its stakeholders.